Economic Parity: Gautam Buddha’s Perspectives

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Economic Parity: Gautama Buddha’s Perspectives

By – Faiyaz Haidar (introduction at the end of the paper), Vol. III, Issue. XXIX, June 2017



The target of fulfilling the basic necessities of life, initiates the early stage of economics. Different economic scholars, who are known as economists, have given various theories on this issue. All these views came under different types of economics like capitalism, socialism, communism, etc. the main target of economists is to categories different head of economics. The different economic heads existed in Gautama Buddha’s period lacks on many front as the contemporary society was inefficient in doing so. Gautama Buddha gave his teaching on this issue also and guided the society maintaining economic balance. For an amiable society appropriate distribution of resources in necessary. To create harmony in the society from every aspect was the main aim of Buddha’s like.


Economy, capitalism, socialism, Harmony, contemporary society, distribution, Resources

In the end of 6th century B.C. India saw surplus agricultural production, that era was Iron Age so, it also helped increment in agricultural production. This surplus agriculture production in north-India also propelled the urbanization of rural areas. This era also saw religious reformation. Surplus production caused the rise of economy. & the economy was owned by a special religious section of the society. According to the opinion of the history’s scholar. The period from (600-322) BC be may be taken as marking a significant change in the economy, which was strength by the wide spread use of iron. The extensive cultivation of rice, sugar and cotton, the rise and growth of numerous towns in the middle genetic plain. The further diversification of craft and their organization in to guild and last cast but not the least the brisk in land and trade as evidence by the numerous finds of the punch marked coins. These presuppose rural settlement in a large area in the age of the Buddha’s which was preceded by a few straggling chalcolithic settlements at river confluence although more of these may have existed in the hilly and red soil.1

From this we can inferred that North-India (the area of Gautama Buddha) was observing rapid economic growth. The people were busy in upgrading the life standard of their families, this known to recent, impact of Gautama Buddha in north  India. That’s there economics is rapid rise .people fell our family, how to develop our family; such like selfish views. When progress become a society, in society make a new class known as ruling class. Ruling class distribute a resource in society but ruling class biased in distribution due to selfless. Then resultant individual economy to advance for him. This way spoiled a equality of economy, then this situation shown by Gautama Buddha; fell very sorrow. Then gave a teaching,

‘’A first human bring owned property collectively and worked collectively in farm land to produce rice, taken they divided farmland and till led ownership. Then some greedy person stole or on the other people, share of land. To stop such evil practice, people close a king and entrusted to him the task of pressing peace order, specially the task of protesting individual’s property from infringement by other’’2. In modern time British economist derived own felling of Buddha economic view

‘’They keynote of Buddhist Economics, therefore is simplicity and non-violence-from an economist’s point of view, the market of the Buddhist way of life in the utter rationality of its pattern-amazingly small mean leading to extra-ordinary satisfactory results.3 Passing a plain life & descend a non violence is main base of Buddha economic policy because passing a plain life became use limited and then  to another opportunity this policy is really human economics. Of those, right view is the forerunner and low is right view the forerunner one discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. This belittling & pursuing gain with gain. This is wrong livelihood. “And what is right livelihood? Rights livelihood. I tell you is of two sorts. There is right livelihood with effluent siding with merit, resulting in acquisition: there is right livelihood that is noble, without effluents transcend a factor of path.

And what is the right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting is acquisition share is the cast where a disciple of the noble ones abandons wrong livelihood and maintain his life with right livelihood this is the right livelihood with effluent siding with must resulting in acquisitions.

And what is the right livelihood that is noble, without efferent transcend a factor of the path? The abstaining desisting abstinent avoidance of wrong livelihood in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble whose mind is without effluents. Who is fully passed of the noble path? This right livelihood that is noble without effluents transcendent. A factor of the path one pries to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter into right livelihood. This one right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood. This is one’ right mindfulness-this these free quality-right view right effort & right mindfulness-run & circle around right livelihood.4

The meaning of this comes out; human being have to do the right direction and should do good work(karma) .Misappropriated wealth is unfortunate cause of sorrow .Right thought, right effort etc,   you can live without suffering, living with sadness .then Buddha gave a sutra for how to use wealth that sutra is five

  1. To provide for one’s own house hold. One’s relative and children.
  2. To make gifts to friends. To them, to give them present.
  3. To protect and repair one’s property and dwelling.
  4. To pay taker and makes obeisance to the deities.
  5. To offer alms and requisites to monk & Brahmin. 5

 How to get wealth and how to spend .all this seem to form this sutra. After this LORD Buddha has given information about what is necessary

The basic requisite that I should posses by every individual.

  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. Dwelling place medicine

Secondary object vehicles books, utensils, light seated

It all items is definitely for all the people of society. In modern time, such as welfare thinking & use sutra on economics, A create a ‘’Buddhist economist theory’’ .this principle is derived by Kekandure dharma bhikku.  They distributed a four stage of economic.

In ‘’Buddhist Economics theory ‘’ Kakanadure Dharmmasiri Bhikkhu  did division in four stage

  1. Acquired Income
  2. Consumption
  3. Investment
  4. Saving

“Akena boge Bunjeyya, Deehi Kammam Payojaye Chatuttancha Nidha Peyya Apadasu Bavissati’’.

whatever income you have you should only utilize one fourth to consume half of your earnings you should reinvest to acquire further income and the last portion of your income should be kept for emergency acquisition as future saving’’6 tell to our disciple Sinhala, to how to use money in daily life it is clearly as it seems

Acquired income

Without any difficulty and scope of ethics acquire wealth such as acquired income, it is view of Gautama Buddha .in time of Buddha the income of people is related to agriculture small industries and royal jobs

The Buddha addressed a group of laymen.

Herein house holder, there are give uses to which wealth can be used they are.

  1. With the wealth that has been obtained by his own diligent labor the noble disciple support himself comfortably sufficiently; he applier himself comfortably sufficiently; he applies himself to suing to his own happiness in rightful ways. He supports his father mother wife and children servant and workers comfortably to a suffering applying him to their needs and their happiness as is proper. This is the first benefit to obtain from wean.
  2. Moreover with wealth that has been obtained by his own the noble disciple support his friends and associate comfortably, to a sufficient taking and interest in their happiness as is proper. This in the second benefit to be derived from wealth.
  3. Moreover, the noble disciple protect his wealth from the dangers of confiscation by kings theft fire flood and appropriation by un friendly relatives. He sees to his own security this is third benefit to be derived from wealth.
  4. Moreover, with the wealth that has been obtained makes the give kind of sacrifices. They are supporting relatives receiving visitors, offering some donations in the name of a caster paying takes to the government and supporting the religion. This in another benefit to be derived from wealth.
  5. Moreover the noble disciple makes offers which are of the highest merit which are rightly gained the noble disciple makes offering which are of highest merit which are conductive to makes to market wells bring happier and heaven, to religion mendicant those who live devoted to heedfulness are establish in patience and gentleness are tainted calmed and cooled of defilement this in the fifth benefit to be obtained from wealth,7 addressing on preaching of lord mainly focus on prosperity on human being on fiancée


 Spend you income according to your wishes and avoid the unnecessary spend. It is main rule of consumption in Buddha religion

In the pattakamma  suttta the manner in which a person should spend his wealth is given in detail as follows:

Expenditure or food and clothing and other need maintence of parent, wife, children and servant for illness and other emergencies, for charitable purpose. 8

Whoever, being rich, not support his aged mother and father, who has passed their youth this is the cause of one’s downfall. He who buys falsehood deceiver “the sangha community or dedicated ordained person or any other mendicant: this is the cause of me’s down fall. 9


Investment is the cost to spend any items for fate. The Gautama Buddha derived a spend of money to direct /indirect root as aspect of moral & ethical value and told following a concept of livelihood as one of path of eight fold path.


Gautama Buddha gave a lot of sutra related to saving e.g. eight hold path, five precepts (Sheel) etc. The fifth of five precepts say to obtain from the abusive consumption of intoxicant & drugs. One can save money by observing this principle because by obtaining from intoxicant, the wastage of money can be halted, similarly under the head of right livelihood in Eight fold path it is said that (you should not be too bountiful, spending more than your mean allow, and you should not be niggardly, clinging to your wealth. Avoid this extreme and spend in proportion to your income.)10   also saves money.

Kekandure  Dharmmasiri  Bhukku wants to convey through “Buddhist Theory of economy” that economy can’t only be run by money instead it can also be run by ethics & values. Gautama Buddha’s teachings on economy can also be incorporated as implement in present era’s economic system..

As the main aim of an economic policy is maximum benefit so, if ethics and values are also taken in consideration then allocation of resource without can also be guaranteed. One important point that should be noted is that the 6th centaury B.C economic policy is totally contract in present era’s economic policy. The farmer was agriculture based and the later is capital based. So the allocation of recourses is a tougher task now. Hence if Gautama Buddha’s teaching is opted and implemented then parity in economic can easily be achieved.



‘’ Sabba Satta Bavantu   Sukhi Tatta ‘’

(May you all be happy and live long) Gautama Buddha

In later Vedic age, the economy was directly related to normal individuals as in the contemporary society the economy was agriculture-based. The trading or business was done on agricultural products & there were small scale factories of agriculture-related tools. All these activities are directly proportional to the economy .as the society was under the influence of religion so; the economic activities were also under the scope of religion. The society was suffering because of the bad economic policy of the business class.

Gautama Buddha stood against the ills &tried to reform the society with his teaching. Gautama Buddha was of the view that economy is the optimum utilization of resources & personal development without destroying the harmony of society with selfish gain &mean aims .According to Buddha parity in society can be achieved by equal distribution of resource. An intellectual of Buddhism gave a theory based on Gautama Buddha teaching is much appropriate for the present era .The allocation of resource of the current era is based on discriminatory parameters. Some  individuals organization are getting rich day by day &some are getting poor’s- the gap between rich and poor is increasing with ongoing policy, so the above theory is beneficial & pragmatic in the existing situation. Hence, the equilibrium in the society can be achieved by balance allocation of resource creating harmony in society, which will further result in prosperity


Introduction to the Author

FAIYAZ HAIDAR is a research scholar in the faculty of theology at Aligarh Muslim University-UP. Interested in religion studies such Islam Buddhism & comparative religion.




  1. S. Sharma, Perspectives in Social and Economics:- History of Earlier India chp.9 P-118
  2. Aggannya-Sitta (Dighami Kaya 27)
  3. F.Schumacher- Small is Beautyfull
  4. Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Maha-Cattarisaka Sutta: Maijihima Nikaya-III-71
  5. Social Dimension of Buddha Teaching part 2 p-26
  6. Buddhist economic thoughts for trouble free life p-16-17
  7. Buddhist economic thoughts for trouble free life p-20
  8. Parbhava Sutta
  9. Parbhava Sutta
  10. Social Dimension of Buddha Teaching part 2 p-28
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